Since June of 2014, Switzerland and the USA have had an agreement on the so-called «Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act» (FATCA), part of American tax law. It demands that foreign financial institutions pass on information about accounts held by US taxpayers to the American tax authorities.
This has a direct impact on Helvetia, which is no longer concluding contracts with so-called «U.S. persons» in accordance with FATCA. Existing clients who have the status of «U.S. person» are reported to the American tax authorities on an annual basis in compliance with the Swiss FATCA implementation law.
Helvetia Switzerland is registered as a financial company with the American tax authority (Internal Revenue Service). As part of the registration, which is required by law, Helvetia Switzerland was given the following Global Intermediary Identification Numbers (GIIN):
Similarly crucial for Switzerland is the global standard on the international automatic exchange of information regarding tax affairs (AEOI), set up by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Alongside Switzerland, almost 100 states have committed to adopting and implementing this standard. The Swiss federal act on international automatic exchange of information in tax matters (AIAG) came into force on 1 January 2017.
From mid-2018, Helvetia must report all clients covered by the AIAG to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) annually, along with their corresponding asset values and the resulting incomes. The FTA then passes this data on to the relevant foreign tax authorities of states that have concluded corresponding agreements with Switzerland in accordance with the AIAG.